Do you have a washing machine that likes to eat socks? Do you feel like you’re always finding mismatched socks? I do and luckily I have a little girl who is quite happy to wear mismatched socks making my life much easier. However, I had never thought of mismatched socks as being something that might actually help my child learn something. Or help build empathy and morality.
Enter Pals socks whose question to me when they first approached me for this review was, “Can mismatched socks put an end to racism?” “Huh?!” was my initial reply, but I’m so glad I gave them a shot. The socks are – you guessed it – mismatched, but not just as any old design. These socks are designed as “friends”, even unlikely friends. Each sock is different, but they still go together.
As a parent, I thought it was a great way to talk about these issues with my daughter (though we do talk about them regularly as may be evident below) and for families who don’t know how to bring up some of these more sensitive topics, this could be exactly what’s needed. After all, it’s easy to talk about how a dog and cat are friends and how we can also be friends with people that are different than us. It’s easy to look at two seemingly different creatures on the socks and ask kids to find similarities – after all, it’s seeing similarities with others that helps us feel affinity towards them too.
The question was how my daughter would feel about these socks outside of just enjoying them (which she does!) so I thought I’d pose some questions to her to see how she feels about the socks. I have given her answers as close to verbatim as I can (I was a bit slow typing sometimes and had to paraphrase near the end at times) and I think it makes the case that these socks can not only be fun to wear, but can pack a deeper message as well.
Me: Do you think it’s weird your socks don’t match?
Daughter: I don’t really think it’s weird at all because they may not match but they’re friends. They came with each other so I don’t think it’s weird at all. I can have a friend who has brown skin and I have white skin, but that doesn’t make any difference. So people can have friends that are different so a cat and a dog can be friends. Having friends is important, it’s more important than matching.
What would you say to people who say the cat and dog can’t be friends?